08/19/2014 at 11:39 •
This project seems to be pretty much ready for this round of the Hackaday Prize. Adding this project log to show how it fulfills the requirements
4 Project logs: Done :)
Open: Hesitant to specify a licence - I used a snippet of code from someone elses work, and I still have to track down the source (somewhere in my browser history) before I confirm the licence. However, assume everything is MIT licenced for now - pretty much everything is my own and I want to see it being used to do cool stuff :)
Connected: It has bluetooth! This is definitely meaningful as it allows musicians to go a lot more in-depth - custom note configurations, triggering system events on a PC when the right tune is played etc etc.
Manufacturable: Should be easy and low-cost to manufacture, provided it's possible to source the VS1053 chip in quantity (for the standalone sound synthesis). I am aiming to get kicad files up on circuithub.com as soon as I have them ready.
Innovative: Kind of :) haven't seen anything quite like this before... And no, it's nothing like a makey-makey - touch is different, use case is different, cost is different, name is different etc etc :P
Replicatable: VERY - although my version uses a bare AtMega328, I have instructions for making one with an arduino, 8 1M resistors and a sparkfun musical instrument shield - hardly unobtanium, and very easy. However, it's much cheaper to build the bluetooth version on strip-board, and for under $10 you have a fun new toy to play with :)
Space worthy? Honestly, no. I think there are other, better projects out there that deserve first prize. However, most of them are complex and expensive, with many ways to go wrong. This is a cheap, fun, educational device that can be helping kids enjoy music a few months after someone with $$$ notices it, so maybe it's worth consideration after all :)
I think that pretty much sums it up! THP is such a cool idea and even if I go away with a T-shirt or just a digital pat-on-the-back, I will still have benefitted hugely - it got me off my backside and documenting something for once :) thank you Hackaday!
08/17/2014 at 15:47 •
Well, it took a day to upload and process but it's up :) I did one longer vid instead of two. The sign I keep holding up says 'subtle hint' - couldn't resist :p
The kwese in the video is actually the standalone version for ease of setup - arduino + musical instument shield + 10 resistors (1M) and some wires all twisted together. I'm hoping to get schematics for the bluwetooth version up in the next few weekends. Anyone with a kicad file with a cheap bluetooth communications solution for an arduino-ish thing please share - it would save tons of time :) I hope to have this thing ready to be manufactured on circuithub sooner or later :)
07/10/2014 at 15:46 •
So I finally managed to get a video onto youtube - only took 2 hours :) The video quality is rubbish but there you go :) This is my video for the hackaday prize so it is mainly me talking, but I do show off the current prototypes and play a little bit. Not sure what else I need for the contest at the moment - any advise from judges or fellow hackers much appreciated :) I will hopefully put together a text tutorial on my personal website, which I will post when it's ready. I also need to update the build instructions...
07/02/2014 at 12:48 •
I got in touch with a very helpfull representative of VLSI solutions, who was good enough to send me some VS1053B chips. I also ordered the sparkfun musical instrument shield that has this same chip nicely broken out. This means that it can be a standalone device of people want. This is very important to me - I am hoping to find a company willing to sponsor the manufacture of some of these to go into schools and homes here in Zimbabwe, where hopefully they will let people who have never played music before experiance something new. I will upload all the code and a video some time tomorrow, once everything is polished. The sound quality of the VS1053 isn't brilliant but definitely good enough for everything I have in mind, and it only costs around $5 in reasonable quantity which, condidering that it negates the need for serial USB or bluetooth, isn't bad.